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A Bit of Background on the HWRF

The Weather Research and Forecast system for hurricane prediction, e.g. the HWRFTM, became operational at NCEP in 2007. This advanced hurricane prediction system was developed at EMC to address the Nation's next generation hurricane forecast problems. The HWRFTM has the capability to address hurricane structure and rainfall forecast problems in addition to advancing wave and storm surge forecasts. Continued advancements in track and intensity prediction are also an important focus of this prediction system.

The HWRFTM is a high resolution coupled air-sea-land prediction model with a movable nested grid and advanced physics for high resolution. To address the totality of the hurricane forecast problems noted above, the HWRFTM will include coupling to a nested wave model and will eventually be coupled to a dynamic storm surge model. Additionally, the land-surface component will also serve as input to hydrology and inundation models to address the hurricane-related inland flooding problem. For initialization of the hurricane core circulation, an advanced data assimilation method was developed at EMC that will make use of real-time airborne Doppler radar data from NOAA's high altitude jets to initialize the three dimensional storm scale structure. The usage of real-time data in the HWRFTM hurricane core, together with the higher resolution of the model, allows for more accurate hurricane predictions of intensity and structure.